Alberto Giacometti

Objet désagréable à jeter [Disagreeable Object to be Thrown away] (1931)

About this artwork

This wooden object is designed to be picked up and played with, and can stand in several different positions. It is satisfying to hold, but is also sinister and possibly offensive. Although it looks as if it has been built for a purpose (possibly sexual), the artist has left this for the viewer to decide. It is similar in shape to a type of stool made in Western Africa, although one of the 'legs' is fixed to the top of the 'seat.' Giacometti made this piece while working with the surrealist group.

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  • title: Objet désagréable à jeter [Disagreeable Object to be Thrown away]
  • accession number: GMA 3547
  • artist: Alberto GiacomettiSwiss (1901 - 1966)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Sculpture
  • subject: Surrealism
  • date created: 1931
  • measurements: 19.60 x 31.00 x 29.00 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1990
  • copyright: © Succession Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London), 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti

Swiss-born sculptor Giacometti studied art in Geneva, moving to Paris in 1922 where he experimented with Cubism and became interested in primitive sculpture. He worked with the surrealist group until the mid-1930s, producing strange objects suggestive of cruelty, sex and dreams. After that time, he broke away dramatically from the Surrealists and returned to working from life. He then produced his best known works, a series of elongated and fragile skeletal figures, made not by carving but by an obsessive process of modelling in clay and whittling away.